Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fallow - Time To Hold & Reflect


 FALLOW 1 |ˈfalō|
(of farmland) plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period 

in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation or to avoid surplus production :
incentives for farmers to let the land lie fallow in order to reduce grain surpluses.
figurative inactive : long fallow periods when nothing seems to happen.

I have been experiencing a fallow time. We all seem to be plagued with these  creative 'down' periods at one time or another. I can sit in front of a page or piece of cloth and my mind goes blank - nothing comes up. Not one creative thought or desire. I try to take my own advice and "just start". One line of color , one dot of black on a clean surface. Just begin. Eventually it works. I slowly take a halting step towards reconnection with the msue. Slow. Plodding at first but the momentum builds. I am not yet rolling in creative juices but I am closer than I was a day or three ago.

It is, after all, still a retrograde phase for mercury and, during these times, it is supposed to be a good idea to not start any new projects. A time for reflection and reviewing. I have been doing that. Last summer I began to knit a shawl from Cheryl Oberle's book "Folk Shawls" - it's called the Stora Dimun Shawl. I decided to go back to work on it . I am using a beautiful pea green Misti Alpaca yarn that is soft and comforting to work with.  My previous work looks awful - so I take it  all apart and  create a huge ball of yarn. Time to begin again - but I consider it not a beginning but a reviewing! Now, it looks better and I am happier with it. It may do justice to the yarn now - while before it looked awkward and forced - the stitches all 'wonky' and uneven. Maybe my mind was uneven when I first began it! I have several pairs of gloves almost finished as well as a pair or two of socks - all of these are there to be finished during these fallow times when I have no spark of creativity left - when I want to do it stare out the window and watch the birds feast.

Maybe in another day or two I will have something new to share - something more creative - or maybe I will just continue to patiently knit away the evening hours. Then, at least, I will have the real beginnings of a shawl to show you ! Mercury will off retrograde on Friday the 15th. I wait for more creative juice - patiently making one line of color, one knitted row, one line of words in my journal. The good thing is that fallow times are always followed by heady creative times. Just as we must have shadow in order to appreciate the sun we must also have fallow times in order to fully appreciate the gift of creativity when it begins to once again flow through us. The key, I think, is to learn to also enjoy the fallow periods. To consider them not down, useless, times but rather as preparation - a time to fill the well with calmness and with thankfulness. A time to be rather than to do. It's all good.


phonelady said...

I think im going through the same thing that you are my dear . I hope it passes soon . take care and have a blessed day and week .

kathy McCreedy said...

Hi Marie! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my site and leave such a nice comment... that little "character test" really is fun, isn't it? :D
I ADORE your banner and assume you made it... absolutely stunning work! Hang in there during those fallow times... all artists go through them and I agree, I think it can be a time of real growth, just different growth than what we might want... at the very least, get some extra sleep... I find when I'm tired I have zero interest in anything and zilch creativity. Thanks again for visiting! Kathy

Jeannie said...

As much as I dislike the fallow periods, I know they are necessary. When they pass, I have a much deeper appreciation of the creative flow and how important it is to act upon it. Keep warm and toasty.

WildmanDesigns said...

Great post. Indeed, I've been going through the fallow time, but I think I'm coming out of it. Well, at least I hope so because I have to get your piece done!!! :-)

Caroline said...

Oy, I can really relate to this post. Thanks for putting it all into words.

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